laminate counter question
Since the economy has been down, I’m sure I am not alone taking work I might have passed on previously. In that vein, I am currently doing a laminate counter project for a low budget kitchen remodel. There are three 10 foot counters, a twelve footer and a three footer. Since I have not done laminate since I was single ( that would be more than two marriages and six kids ago) I decided to start with the three footer first, to bring back that lovin’ feeling.
I used chipboard, or whatever they are calling it nowadays, fit it, yellow-glued a double layer underneath where appropriate, stapled, and then pattern-routed it. After swooning with the glue fumes , I finally got everything assembled: sides, then front,routed that all flush with a laminate router and a new bit. When I put on the top and routed it in some spots there is kind of a “smear” for lack of a better term, of backing material. I cleaned the bit and took another tilt at it with the same results. Careful work with a single cut file kind of cleaned it up but had me wondering if I was doing something to cause it i.e Can I avoid it.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Also, what would people use for the long backsplash substrate? Just biscuit the same material? Thanks
Just a couple of tricks I use with laminate. Keep the extra overhang down to 1/4" or less. This will reduce the glue build up on the bit and it will cut more smoothly. I use a euro style flush bit, it has a square nylon bearing and won't mark anything. There is always a feathered edge left at the bottom of the layers in the laminate after flush trimming. This is usually removed with the bevel bit. It's critical that top and edge are 90 degrees and straight. Setting the bevel bit is tricky. It changes depth very quickly and you have to make the adjustment a breath at a time. You don't want to hit the adjoining laminate. A stroke or two with a file, held draw file style, will clean up any chatter left by the router bit. An 8" mill bastard works as well as a laminate file. If there is any fuzz left, you can slice it off with a not too sharp knife or chisel. It's better than going too deep with the bit or file.
Typically, the backsplash is rabbeted on to the countertop. Others are loose and just sit on top of the counter. The edge gets a thin application of silicone adhesive caulk and is pressed down tight to the top. Construction adhesive is often used on the wall. A very slight back bevel on the edge of the backsplash helps with a tight fit to the top.
The most common substrate is industrial particle board. This looks similar to ordinary particle board but is more dense. MDF is also used as a substrate. These will not like any water getting in joints or around the sink. I don't know of any suitable substrate that will like water.
Beat it to fit / Paint it to match
Has anybody tried Advantech flooring as a countertop substrate?
Mike Smith used Advantech in the adverse conditions house thread for the countertops.
Maybe he'll chime in on how it has worked out.
I don't know of any suitable substrate that will like water.
I have a bias toward using a 4' piece of marine-grade plywood to set the sink into.
I know of a couple local laminate types who use 5/8 CDX, but they are clearly more tolerant of working with that material than I would be.Occupational hazard of my occupation not being around (sorry Bubba)
Before I run the flush bit I wipe away the excess adhisive under the extended edge with a rag and paint thinner. Other than that, ditto everything Hammer1 said.
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Try blue painters tape where you don't want the cc. A lot faster and keeps down the amount of nasty solvent fumes you inhale.
I cover the laminate with masking tape before spraying the next coating of contact glue. Saves lots of clean up time. Alittle filing is always needed.
I've just used regular contact cement with the fumes, but have heard others say the low VOC contact cement or even PVA glue is plenty strong enough.
If the swoon that you are talking about is the burn that you get on the front, I found the best way to avoid that is to use a solid carbide router bit and some lubricant on the front. I have used 3-1 oil as lubricant, but there are lubricants specifically made for that. As far as the backsplash goes, I just use a 4" by whatever piece of the same material I used for the substrate.
I also use a solid bit ( without a bearing) and a special lube stick. I have had to many bearing type bits freeze up on me, no matter how carefull I am about cleaning them.
I once had a bearing fall right off the bit. Plowed about an inch into the surface before I realized what happened. Ruined a $130 designer laminate, not to mention the labor of starting over again from scratch.See my work at TedsCarpentry.comBuy Cheap Tools! BuildersTools.net